vaultWhich psychological barriers hold you back from becoming a better trader? Although many emotions and assumptions can stand in your way, perhaps the single biggest obstacle for most traders is dealing with being uncomfortable.

A lot of people say you should try to leave fear, anger, and other emotions behind you when you trade, but it is impossible to completely eliminate them. That means that if you are going to trade (or even learn about trading) you are going to end up feeling uncomfortable a significant amount of the time.

This is not just a matter of actually taking trades either. As I just stated, even learning can invoke discomfort, because you are necessarily pushing past the boundaries of your existing habits and knowledge. Anytime you do that, you are in a vulnerable state. You may discover that certain beliefs you have about the market or even yourself are wrong.

This is exactly how you learn and grow, however. You have to identify mistakes in your thinking and replace them with a stronger understanding of how the market really works.

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So how can you push your comfort zone when it is the last thing that you feel like doing? Here are some suggestions for coping psychologically and learning to be “comfortable” being uncomfortable.

Try meditation.

What You Need To Know About Trading Binary OptionsThis is not trite advice, though it may seem that way at first. Meditation works. Try looking into the scientific research backing it up. Here is just one example of a study that concluded that mindfulness can help manage symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder. Whether or not you suffer from any disorder, feelings of anxiety are closely tied into the psychological discomfort of pushing outside your usual zone.

One thing that I think is important to point out is that there are many different ways you can approach meditation, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer for everyone. For one person, attempting to clear the mind of all thoughts may work best. For another, simply watching thoughts from a different perspective may work. Some people sit on a cushion, while others go skateboarding or play a videogame. They key is just to find a way to either quiet your racing thoughts and emotions or detach yourself from them enough to see them “from the outside” as someone less invested in your situation might perceive them.

This does not mean caring less about winning or losing your trades. In a way, it means caring more, because you are willing to do what you need to in order to reframe your thoughts in a manner which is more conducive to learning and trading. It means getting enough perspective to see that feeling uncomfortable does not necessarily mean anything is actually wrong.

Journal about your process.

It can also be very helpful to write things down. This helps you to track your observations about trading as well as your own thoughts and emotions. Journaling is a great way of building perspective and figuring out what is actually happening in your life versus what you are afraid of.

The other benefit of journaling is that you can actually use it as a form of meditation. Try making a rule that you will only write down observations in a particular entry which have a basis in data and not just emotion. If you try to keep your focus on what you are writing, you may be able to screen out some of the mental noise which constitutes your discomfort. You may also look back over what you did write down and discover it offers a fresh perspective on your journey into the unknown or the uncertainties you face while trading.

Talk to someone else who is in a similar situation.

Another thing you can do to ease the stress of dealing with uncertainty and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is to do so with somebody else. Hopefully you know some other people who trade binary options (if not, I recommend joining some forums and meeting some people you can connect to).

Many of your fellow traders are struggling just as you are to venture outside their comfort zones without allowing their unease to hold them back. Some of them may even be trying to solve the same problems that you are by making adjustments to their trading systems and adapting their methods to changing circumstances.

Journeys shared are usually easier to undertake journeys alone. You can offer each other perspective. Sometimes, when someone else is uncomfortable, you have the outside perspective to see why their discomfort should not be holding them back. This can reflect back at you and help you deal with your own feelings of unease. Plus, taking a journey with somebody else is just more fun.

Exercise.

Like meditation, exercise has a lot of research backing it up as a proven method for coping with anxiety. Here is just one example of such a study. Exercise will help you the most if you do it on a regular basis. You should notice some acute stress relief, but also an overall long-term positive effect on your mood. This can help to reduce any racing thoughts that you associate with stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Jump in headfirst.

If you find that you are able to push the envelope just one step at a time, then maybe you should do so. But for a lot of people, this method results in even more discomfort and hesitation than just taking the plunge. Quite often, the anticipation of stepping outside your comfort zone ironically is actually more uncomfortable than being outside of it. When you take the plunge, you may discover that things outside your zone are not nearly as bad as you thought.

At that rate, when you actually make the leap, you may start seeing some of the benefits sooner. The more improvements that you see to your trading and your bottom line, the more encouraged you feel. This should over time actually help to expand your comfort zone, perhaps permanently.

Once you start regularly pushing your comfort zone, you will notice a couple of things. The first is that your discomfort does not necessarily have any direct correlation with negative outcomes. The second is that being uncomfortable in itself is not really a “bad” thing. It may be unpleasant, but it is just an emotion. It will pass with time. It isn’t nearly as damaging as the long-term feeling of disappointment that comes with never pushing your boundaries enough to grow and flourish as a trader.

So, get out there, choose a broker and get started trading. My short list of recommended binary option brokers can be found here.